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Puzzle of the Pyramid

In September, a tiny robot was sent up a narrow shaft of the Great Pyramid in Giza to drill a hole in an ancient door and peek through to see what was inside the hidden room behind it. And it found?another door! So the process has to begin all over again. Art historians think there may be a symbolic reason for this strange design.

Khufu, the pharaoh also known as Cheops, who is said to have built the pyramid, was a man of mystery. Dorothea Arnold, of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, says writings from 400 to 600 years after his death show that ancient Egyptologists were already speculating about how his philosophy may have been expressed in the design of his pyramid. She says, "With every little detail, our thinking becomes more complex, and in that way brings us closer to reality." Could it be that the 2nd door is a kind of practical joke played by Khufu on explorers of the future? Maybe there?s nothing in the shaft except an series of doors.

There are two 8 inch square shafts, one aiming south and the other north, off a room-sized chamber within the pyramid. The doors in each shaft were carved of limestone and have two long brass handles. Shafts of this kind are found in no other Egyptian pyramid, and researchers have debated for years whether they are symbols or had some kind of practical use, such as telescopes or air shafts.

Some Egyptologists think the shafts are passages for the pharaoh's soul, which would leave the pyramid in the morning and return in the evening. The stone doors don?t mean this theory is incorrect. David P. Silverman, of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, says the ancient Egyptians may have believed the pharaoh's soul was powerful enough to pass through the doors. Perhaps they thought the doors would keep other, inferior, souls out.

Art historian Lorelei Corcoran says that from the outside, the pyramids "seem so simple in form. The interior is what is so fascinating. It must be a metaphor for something: That nothing is as simple as it seems."

Ancient cultures have much to teach us?if we?ll only take the time to look at them with new eyes. Two books that do just that are ?The Mound Builders? and ?Ancient South America? by Gregory Little, who uses Edgar Cayce?s prophecies to search for the past, click hereand scroll down.

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