The Shaft, The Subway & The Causeway / 5

"Opening The Lost Tombs" - The Tomb Of Osiris

On the 2nd of March 1999, the FOX Television Network broadcast a programme entitled 'Opening The Lost Tombs: Live From Egypt.' The closing section of the programme dealt with the 'Tomb of Osiris', the location described in these pages. Here was an opportunity for the man in charge of the excavations to end the speculation about what lies beneath Khafre's causeway.

The Underground Layout

FOX TV graphic of chamber layout

above images © Radio...With Pictures Productions 1999.

This graphic of the shafts and chambers under the causeway is taken from the FOX TV Special "Opening The Lost Tombs" which was transmitted on the 2nd of March 1999. It has been compiled from a number of video frame captures. It must be immediately pointed out that this graphic does not show the true layout under the causeway.

For the purposes of this discussion, we shall assume that the causeway as shown is orientated east/west although the real layout is slightly off this axis. Khafre's pyramid is to the left (west), and the Sphinx is to the right (east).

The layout implies that the first and second chambers lie on an east/west axis and that the connecting shaft descends from the first chamber's east side to the second chamber's west side. The shaft to the third chamber is shown descending from a sidechamber in the south wall. It enters the chamber - the 'Tomb of Osiris' on its north side. This chamber is shown on a north/south axis and extends south, away from the causeway.

To visualise the actual layout of the complex, rotate the third chamber through 180 degrees so that it extends under the second chamber rather than away from it. Now using the first shaft as an axle, rotate the entire underground complex 90 degrees anticlockwise, so that the first and second chambers are aligned with and under the subway rather than the causeway, and the third chamber is aligned with and under the causeway rather than the subway. Do not mentally rotate the subway and the causeway.

Overhead Plans

The two figures on the right represent overhead plans of the chamber layout, i.e. you are above the causeway and looking straight down through the chambers. Figure 1 shows the actual layout. Figure 2 shows the layout as suggested by the graphic depicted above. Ladders are shown on the plans as blocks.

With reference to figure 1, the first and second chambers lie on a north/south axis. The first shaft descends from the southern end of the subway. A ladder is affixed to the south side of the shaft. Stepping from the ladder, one would turn and walk north, entering the first chamber on its south side. The second shaft descends from the chamber's north side and enters the second chamber on its south side. The first and second chamber interiors in the above graphic are representative depictions of the actual layouts although (with reference to the correct orientation) the shaft descending to the third level occupies the southernmost of the three sidechambers on the east side.

The third chamber lies on an east/west axis, the shaft entering on the east side. The sarcophagus (not shown) is also orientated on an east/west axis. The entrance to the unexcavated tunnel in which Doctor Hawass stood is located in the north west corner of the chamber (T).

The layout shown in figure 2 is discussed in the section 'The Underground Layout'.

figure 1 - actual layout from above

figure 2 - implied layout from above

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