Secret Messages?

A large part of the in literature discussed so-called pyramid secrets are numerological puzzles that are hidden in temples and pyramids of Egypt. Numerological puzzles are also very common and popular on internet message boards, private web sites and on video sites.
By comparing certain dimensions of buildings in relation to each other, often numerical values are obtained ​​that come close to certain fundamental constants or mathematical numbers such as pi or phi. Many see in the occurrence of these numbers a sign of the builders to subsequent generations, as a messages to demonstrate a much greater mathematical and scientific knowledge as thought of by conservative science. This would mean that either the Egyptians were much more developed than expected, or that the pyramids were not built by them.

The messages are everywhere sought and found. In the arrangement of the chambers, the proportions of the pyramids, the arrangement of the pyramids on the Giza Plateau, the position of Giza on Earth... Hm, just a moment: Giza? But there are more pyramids than those in Giza!
True, but these are ignored by the investigators of pyramid messages. Virtually all messages are found only in the Great Pyramid, to a lesser extent in the other pyramids in Giza or Giza itself. The other pyramids are usually considered to be unsuccessful copies of the “original” buildings – in Giza. Many authors think, that these pyramids are several thousand years older than the other pyramids, including the one of Djoser, considered to be the oldest one by Egyptologists.

On the following pages I will look at a few of the myriad assumed mysteries of the pyramids, beginning with those published by Erich von Däniken in his book The Eyes of the Sphinx . This collection is so often used by other German-language book- and web authors that it can be almost be considered representative.
More puzzles are added afterwards.

Here is the list of eyes of the Sphinx , pp. 151-155. This is according to Erich von Däniken from the book Only 4000 years of culture? of EH Tarhan, about which I unfortunately could not yet find out anything.

No. Mystery
1 The pyramid is aligned to the four cardinal points
2 The pyramid stands at the centre of gravity of the land masses of Earth.
3 (a) the meridian that runs through Giza divides the oceans and the continents into two equal parts. (b) This meridian is also the longest North-South-meridian going over land and forms a natural zero point for measuring the longitude of the entire globe.
4 The angles of the pyramid divide the Nile delta into two identical halves.
5 The pyramid is a perfect geodetic and orientation point. With the help of triangulation all the land in sight can be measured, as Napoleon's scientists found out with wonder.
6 The three pyramids of Giza are orientated in a pythagorean triangle with sides in a 3:4:5 proportion.
7 (a) The ratio between the height and circumference of the pyramid equals the ratio between the radius and circumference of a circle. (b) The four sides are the largest and most striking triangles in the world.
8 (a) With the pyramid one can calculate the volume of a sphere as well as the area of a circle. (b) It is a monument for the squaring of a circle.
9 (a) The pyramid is a giant sundial. The shadow cast by it between the mid-October and early March shows the length of the seasons and of the year. (b) The length of the stone slabs that surround the pyramid corresponds to the length of the shadow of one day. (c) observation of this shadow on the flagstones, the length of a year was specified to the 0.2419. part of a day.
10 The mean length of the four base sides is 365,242 Egyptian cubits. This number is identical tu the number of days in a tropical year.
11 The distance of the Great Pyramid to the centre of the Earth is exactly as large as the distance to the north pole and is therefore as long as the distance between the north pole and the centre of the Earth.
12 If one divides the area of the pyramid base by dhe double half1  ] of the monument the result is the number Pi = 3.1416
13 The area of all four triangular sides equals the square of the pyramid height.
14 The tip of the pyramid represents the North Pole, its circumference is the length of the equator, and the distance of both is to scale. Each side of the pyramid was measured so that each represented a quarter sector of the northern hemisphere or a spherical equivalent of 90 degrees square (The equatorial circumference is 40076.592 km, the Earth's circumference calculated over the poles 40009.153 km)..

With sub-points (a), (b) and (c) there are 19 individual puzzles in this short list. If they are all or at least the most true, the history books would have to be revised. Let us recall: We currently have 19 secret messages in the pyramids!

Mystery or not?

What is a "mystery" in the true sense? In my eyes, a mystery is a property which is not derived from natural conditions. A building ion the highest point of the Netherlands is, for example, not a puzzle, but a peculiarity. Unless one can explain why this construction site is a mystery. And that is the highest point of the building (perhaps a lookout tower) has particularly clear views is also not a mystery but the intentional feature of this building.
Unfortunately, some of the pyramid puzzle of similar banality.

No mystery...

is point (1): The orientation to the cardinal points. For all the about real pyramids of Egypt are aligned to the cardinal points. They were very important for the Egyptian burial and ceremonial practice (East: The land of the living, the place of creation; West: Land of the Dead, the place of destruction; North: Region of the of the indestructible stars), therefore practically every cult building in Egypt is accordingly aligned (some temples deviate from these directions, but are built parallel to the bank of the Nile – this also was seen as north!). The determination of the north for the ground-breaking of a new temple was a task for the King himself. What may be interpreted as puzzling is the precision with which this happened, but this is more of a technical detail.

Another non-puzzle is no. (5): Of course, the tip of a pyramid is a geodesic point - as the highest and most distinctive feature, you can still use them as a marker point even over long distances. But this is not a mystery, but simply the result of the fact that all the pyramids are the locally highest elevations in the desert. This shares the pyramid of Khufu with the other pyramids in Saqqara, Abusir, Dahshur, Lisht, Fayum and Meidum. And Roasch and Abu el-Aryan, if the pyramids had been completed there. This is not more puzzling as the clear views from the observation tower in the Netherlands :-)

Another non-puzzle is (7 b). Since a pyramid now has four triangular faces, the largest real geometrical pyramid simply has no choice but to have also the largest triangles on its sides :-)
This "mystery" also is nothing more than the effect of the characteristics of the building itself.

This leaves 16 puzzles, three riddles could be solved in advance.

The categories

We can divide the remaining riddles into two different categories:

Location mysteries where the location of the pyramids on Earth seem to hold some secrets. These are:

this makes 5 individual riddles.

The second category are the Building mysteries where the pyramid itself contains the mystery. With the exception of (6), Pythagoras, all remaining riddles belong to this category.
Some of these riddles are not independent, but belont to the sub-category I call “Pi-riddles”. These are:

These three riddles are depending only on the number Pi encoded into the Great Pyramid. And (7a) and (12) are even identical. (8a) only says, that one can solve volume and area calculations with Pi.


Interestingly, (14) is exactly the opposite to the three Pi-puzzles, because it says that the pyramid cannot be surrounded by a sphere. In (14) the length of a pyramid side is seen as a quarter sector of a sphere. The same analogy is used when Pi is obtained by dividing the circumference by the height of the pyramid to - the sides are equalled with circular sections. If Pi is codes into the pyramid, the equatorial circumference represented by the pyramid's circumference must be equal to the polar circumference represented by the pyramid's height - contrary to (14) , in which the polar circumference of a flattened spheroid is represented by the height of the pyramid! Both puzzles are mutually exclusive: If Pi is encoded, (14) must be wrong, if (14) is true, (7a) , (8a) and (12) must be wrong! Uh oh!

The sacred cubit

Puzzles (10) is also a contradiction because the circumference of the Great Pyramid measured with Egyptian cubits should get exactly the length of the tropical year (which incidentally is 365.2422 days long, and not 365.342 days as Däniken erroneously writes).

cubit rod
Fig. 1 – Cubit Rod

The used cubit during the Old Kingdom was somewhere between 52.3 and 52.5 centimetres. Since ther was no central calibration scale like the Paris meter there were slight variations. [ 2 ] . The use of this cubit is proven and there were dozens of Elle rods found in different places. The adjacent picture shows a cubit rod of Pharaoh Osorkon [ 3 ]
If you divide the average width of the Great Pyramid (230.38 m) by those cubit values you get a length between 438.78 to 440.45 cubits. Both values ​​have nothing to do with our year length of 365.2422 days!

The reason is that the cubit EvD is working with was not known by the ancient Egyptians, although he thinks otherwise. Elsewhere he writes [ 3 ]:

"It is not different with sacred cubit of ancient Egypt. It measures 63.5 centimetres and is a thousandth of the distance that the Earth rotates within one second at the equator."

This raises the question of where the Egyptians were familiar with the rotational speed of the earth. But wait, is the value correct at all?
Erich von Däniken has put the essential information for a review by himself into his book. Only two pages earlier, in the definition of riddle (14) he gives the circumference of 40076.592 km. The minute has 60 seconds, to hour 60 minutes, 24 hours are a day. So, the day has (24 * 60 * 60) = 86400 seconds. Dividing this by the self-given circumference we get 463.8 meters per second as the rotation speed at the equator. One thousandth of this are 46.38 centimetres and not 63.5 centimetres. With the data given by himself in his book! Hm, maybe the invention of the pocket calculator (which allows you to check such things) has not yet penetrated into Switzerland ...

By the way, the riddle would not even work if the 63,5 cm were true. 230.38 metres divided by 63.5 centimetres is 362.77 - several days away from 365,2422. Calculated with EvD's own data only a few pages apart!!!

This claim is three times wrong: The initial statement is not correct, the derivation of the unit of length is wrong, and even the calculation of the specified length is a failure. For this claim, one should subtract three points from EvD's riddle side.
This puzzle, however, demonstrated in a shocking way the sad fact, that most authors never check the claims they use in their books, but simply copy them if they just sound spectacular enough.
And here's my tip for all fans of numerology: just check the information of your favourite authors. First check the data given, and then check the results by using the correct values.
Of the original puzzles there are now 15 left, 4 have already been eliminated in advance.

Origins of pyramid numerology

To get a better understanding about pyramid numerology, we take a look at their origin. Kurt Mendelssohn explained it in a chapter of his book The Riddle of the Pyramids from which I will summarise here: [ 3 ]
The 63-centimetre cubit is a invention from a British counter-movement to the planned introduction of a new system of measurement - the metre - from the first half of the 19th Century. The meter was defined in a quite infamous way for some Britains: The 40 millionth of the meridian passing through Paris. Well, that was not why they had fought with Napoleon.
What could be better than a man-made measure? Clearly a measure given by God. Some Englishmen of the 19th Century were of the opinion that they were decendents of a lost tribe of Israel, and that the British inch is a biblical measure, named after the prophet Henoch, and given directly by God. So this measure was the only true one. And lo and behold, the Inch was about the 25 millionth part of the polar radius of Earth, 6348 km. A length specification without a Paris Meridian!
The Great Pyramid at Giza was also seen by many as a divine structure, therefore it is hardly surprising that several Inch-supporters tried to prove, that the Inch was used as a base measure for the pyramid. An astronomer named Piazzi Smyth discovered the pyramid yard 63.5 cm as the basis measure for the pyramid - the equivalent of exactly 25 inches! The proof?!

So far Mendelsohn. Smyth “found” with his new base unit in the pyramid connections with nature and the universe, which serve today as a basis for many fringe science theories. Also he proved, that the construction must have been initiated by someone who possessed knowledge that the Egyptians never had. So he was the first one finding the connection between pyramid base length and the tropical year von Däniken writes about. But with his data from1864 the calculation does work!

But why doesn't it work today? To understand this we have to look at the methodology of those researchers (a detailed description can be found in the section about the archaeological survey of the pyramids). Smyth developed his theories based on estimates of the pyramid dimensions. He travelled personally to Egypt, and spent many years of his life there, and also led pioneering surveys there. But the fundamental base value for all his theories, the base length of the pyramid, could not be measured, as the base of the pyramid was covered in his time with meters of rubble. So he only measured measure the edge angle with extreme precision and estimated with it the width and height! Based on the presumption established by himself, that Pi is encoded in the pyramid. He put Pi into it and, oh wonder – got a width to get Pi with.
. Shortly after his departure from Egypt a team of engineers managed to to recover the alleged pyramid corner holes of the foundation, which had more than half a century before by Napoleon, but had since then disappeared in the desert sand. They measured the width of the pyramid from their distance - and it was narrower than Smyth could use. Even worse: An expedition, organized by the "father of modern Egyptology," Flinders Petrie to support Smyth, found out in 1880, that the alleged corner holes were none at all. The pyramid was even narrower than the old, for Smyth already disastrous results. The fundamental base dimension for Smyth's pyramid numerology – the pyramid inch, the pyramid yard, Pi, the golden ratio, the astronomical knowledge of the builders - all wrong !. This of course nullifies all "geometric secrets" based on Smyth's work. However, this "evidence" of 1864 is still present today mercilessly by many authors as the last word (!) - like by Erich von Daniken.

[1 ] Must be "double height"!
[2 ] Arnold, Dieter; Building in Egypt, p. 10
[3 ] Schwab-Schlott, Adelheid; Altägyptische Texte über die Ausmaße Ägyptens, MDAIK 28/1 1972, fig XXIV
[4 ] von Däniken; Sphinx, "Wie entstand der Meter", p. 151
[5 ] Mendelssohn, Kurt; Das Rätsel der Pyramiden, p. 238 ff
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© for all pictures and texts: Frank Dörnenburg