THE GIZA POWER PLANT
10 Mar 2000
Email from IL to Chris Dunn in response to recent postings on his site
I know you have indicated that you are not particularly keen to enter into further discussions with me, but your recent posting on your website (at http://www.gizapower.com/articles/door.html) about the Queen's Chamber shafts forces me to emerge to haunt you once again. We have not discussed your Giza Power Plant theory before, although you suggested initially that you would be keen to take me on over the purpose of the Great Pyramid, and then became progressively more reticent.
Although there are a great many points of detail in your theory with which I could take issue, since you suggest you are too busy to enter into long debates with me let me ask you a very simple set of questions which rise above the detail:
On p. 95 of GPP you discuss the quality of the sarcophagus in the Second Pyramid. The implication of this analysis, and that in other parts of your book, is that none of these early pyramids were funerary edifices. Yet it is quite clear that neither the Second Pyramid, nor any of the others, has the same detailed features as the Great Pyramid (e.g. the shafts, grand gallery, chambers high up in the superstructure etc.) which allow you to postulate that it is a power plant. So what do you think the purpose of these other pyramids was, since presumably you cannot stretch them into being power plants as well?
Of course it may be that you think that the Great Pyramid is much older and can be taken out of the context of all the others, so you do not have to worry about their function. If this is the case, and my apologies because I cannot remember whether or not you make this clear in your book or elsewhere, then your discussion of, for example, the Second Pyramid is merely distracting and confusing to the logic of your main argument. However perhaps you would then like to indicate how you support the suggestion that the Great Pyramid is significantly older, in the face of, for example, the evidence presented in Chapter 2 of G:TT, and especially pp. 94-113?
As usual I will be posting this on my web site as well as sending it to you.
Best wishes, Ian Lawton
28 Apr 2000
Note from IL regarding Chris Dunn's lack of response
Seven weeks have now passed since I first emailed my principle objections about the Giza Power Plant theory to Chris Dunn. To recap, I suggested that the other major pyramids do not show any of the features which would allow them to be regarded as power plants, despite him making great play of, for example, the quality of the sarcophagus in the Second Pyramid. Consequently I asked him whether, despite this somewhat confusing logic, he feels the Great Pyramid should be taken out of the context of the others and regarded as much older - and if so how he justifies such an assertion in the face of, for example, the evidence we have amassed to the contrary in G:TT.
Twice in the last 7 weeks I have contacted Chris to ask him when I might expect a response, indicating that my readership might find it somewhat strange that the author of such a high-profile alternative theory appeared not to be defending it in the face of some relatively simple challenges. On both occasions he has had the courtesy to reply but has indicated that he is too busy to prepare one. Since my primary question as to whether or not he believes the Great Pyramid should be taken out of the context of the others, at least, is one which could be answered with a simple "yes" or "no", I will leave it up to my readership to decide whether such simple but challenging questions are being evaded.
Of course if Chris does decide to respond when he has more time I will take down this posting and continue the discussion.
6 Oct 2000
Email response from Chris Dunn to IL's of 10 Mar
The answer to your question is no, the Great Pyramid should not be taken out of context with the other pyramids. Also, in my book I did not place the Great Pyramid at an earlier time than the other pyramids. If you will read page 71, you will see what my position is regarding the age of the pyramid.
I believe that our differences are fundamental and based on our own personal perspectives of what context should take precedence over the other. You seem to put more weight on the cultural context for which a powerful consensus has evolved over many years. My own perspective is one that sweeps away this 19th and 20th century construct of what this culture was and how the pyramids came to be, and which concentrates on the engineering and physical realities of the stone artifacts that tell me that there is much more to be gained in understanding the pyramid builders by studying their engineering feats. Such a study will then put the pyramids in the correct context, as to both the culture and the physical capabilities of their creators.
Pot sherds, hieroglyphs and reliefs tell us a story of the culture that created them. They are open to interpretation and that interpretation may be slightly off key. They also may not necessarily be contemporaneous with the building of the pyramids. As I wrote in my original article on Advanced Machining in Ancient Egypt in 1984, "the language of science and technology does not have the same freedom as speech."
What this means is that if an engineering study of the artifacts reveals technologies that differ from those technologies that emerge from a study of hieroglyphs, reliefs, and remaining artifacts, such as primitive tools, then the engineering study and all it reveals should take precedence, because the data can be interpreted more accurately.
Speaking as an engineer, this is my firm, unshakable belief. Does this mean that I believe my interpretation is bullet proof? No. Just as with any initial design concept of a functioning device, there will always be some minor modifications. Flawed, though, as it may be in some aspects, it is a lot closer than what has been offered before.
Best Wishes, Christopher Dunn
6 Oct 2000
Email response from IL to Chris Dunn
Sorry to hear about your PC problems; I guess it is better to resume this discussion late than never. I was unable to trace the reference to your position on the age of the Great Pyramid on p. 71 - I have the Bear & Co version and cannot find it there. Nevertheless you have clarified that you do not believe it should be taken out of context with its countertparts.
You have been very eloquent in suggesting that in your view the technological context should take precedence over the archaeological. I do not have a problem with at least accepting that the two should be taken together, although the debate about advanced technology per se is clearly awaiting further investigation, especially for example of the Stocks/Nova work. However in this correspondence I am concentrating specifically on your power plant theory, and to that end you have singularly failed to answer the other question I put to you previously, which becomes key if you accept that all the major pyramids must be taken in the same context. To restate:
"On p. 95 of GPP you discuss the quality of the sarcophagus in the Second Pyramid. The implication of this analysis, and that in other parts of your book, is that none of these early pyramids were funerary edifices. Yet it is quite clear that neither the Second Pyramid, nor any of the others, has the same detailed features as the Great Pyramid (e.g. the shafts, grand gallery, chambers high up in the superstructure etc.) which allow you to postulate that it is a power plant. So what do you think the purpose of these other pyramids was, since presumably you cannot stretch them into being power plants as well?"
I trust we will not have to wait another six months to clear this up?
Best regards, Ian
15 Oct 2000
Email response from Chris Dunn to IL
Until the building and use of the pyramids and other artifacts in Egypt has been explained within an engineering context, a cultural context cannot be established. Within the framework established by orthodox researchers, this has not been accomplished. They have failed to explain the engineering context, instead relying mainly on a cultural context. This, in my opinion, is putting the cart before the horse.
While attempts have been made to replicate the methods used by the Egyptians in cutting stone and building their pyramids, they have fallen short of explaining, or even attempting to explain, the more difficult aspects of the work. It is all very well to wrest a 2 ton block of limestone up a ramp to a height of 20 feet, but this effort does not explain the 100 ton granite boxes, cut to high precision, that were positioned in the rock tunnels near a dead end at the Serapeum. Nor does it explain the 70 ton granite beams above the King's Chamber or the 3 ton lintel block in the bedrock passageway in Khafre's pyramid where room for manoeuvring is limited to three people. Similarly, grinding a hole in granite using sand and a copper tube, does not explain the metrology used on many artifacts. Nor, as far as I have been able to determine, does it explain Petrie's core #7. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea.
With respect to the other pyramids in Egypt. I have not determined by a thorough detailed analysis a complete hypothesis explaining how each element found within them actually operated. You are wrong, however, in presuming that they are not related in some way to the fundamental technologies in the Great Pyramid.
Iterations of technologies based on fundamental principles exist all over the place. Modern power plant structures, for instance, when stripped of critical components, may have the appearance of being totally unrelated. Look, also, at the difference between the Wankel engine and a V-8. My 39-year career has led me from the manufacturing industry in England to its counterpart in America. During this time I have learned, and can tell you with confidence, that the creativity of people and their application of technologies, are not mirror images of each other.
Though the design and quality of the different pyramids in Egypt may vary, they seem to have a common denominator with respect to the tools that cut them. For instance, the corner blend radius I inspected with Starret radius gauges at the bottom of the granite box in Khafre's pyramid is 7/16 inch. This true radius is also found on the contoured block on the Giza Plateau and the alabaster platform in the pyramid enclosure at Abu Ghorab. So while these sites may have revealed artifacts that, within a cultural context separate them chronologically, there is evidence to suggest that, at least, the tools used to create the artifacts were of similar design. Could it be that the evidence we are relying on is extrinsic to the actual age of these sites?
And this brings me to my position which you had difficulty understanding in my book. Perhaps I did not articulate it as clearly as I could have. Because I believe that the engineering context takes precedence over the cultural context, it also takes precedence over chronological considerations. Performing my analysis, it didn't matter to me whether the pyramids were built yesterday, 10,000 years ago, or 50,000 years ago. What mattered to me was, how do we explain the methods that were used to build the pyramids and other artifacts in Egypt, and to what end were these artifacts created? These questions I addressed from an engineer's perspective. Peer review from fellow engineers and craftsmen have provided overwhelming support for the conclusion I have reached. But there is more research and work to be done, which brings me to your comment:
"I trust we will not have to wait another six months to clear this up?"
My first inclination upon reading this was to ignore you again for another six months. Letters that stimulate cooperation rather than animosity do not contain sarcastic comments such as this. If you are willing to listen and learn, my advice to you is to calm down, chill out and have a beer. We are not in an auto race, and I am not as impatient as you for complete answers to the other pyramids. It took me 21 years to bring The Giza Power Plant to its current state of completion. These things take time and cannot be rushed off in a 6-month period. Be confident in your own convictions as I am in mine. I'm not trying to change your perspective on Giza, and you haven't produced anything to date that would remotely change mine.
16 Oct 2000
Email response from IL to Chris Dunn
I have no disagreement with your assertion that the engineering context is important when examining the pyramids, and that it has perhaps received less attention than it should from the orthodox school. However I cannot agree with you that it should take precedence over the cultural context.
I still maintain that you are unable to explain the obvious and significant differences between the GP and its counterparts at Giza within the context of your Power Plant theory, as demonstrated most particularly, for example, in the complete absence of "star/air" shafts in all the others when they are intrinsic to your description of how the GP operated as a power source. Furthermore, all of the major pyramids of the third and fourth dynasties were part of complexes that included, in various combinations, other structures such as mortuary and valley temples and satellite pyramids. How do these fit with your engineering-based reappraisal? And what about the pyramid texts, as found for example in the fifth dynasty pyramid of Unas, which clearly describe highly esoteric rituals conducted within these edifices that are incontrovertibly related to initiations into the nature of the afterlife?
You rightly raise some interesting points about certain engineering enigmas which, I agree, remain a puzzle. I applaud your attempts to investigate and raise the profile of the technology used by the ancient Egyptians. However when trying to examine the broader context, you take the orthodoxy to task for ignoring the engineering context, and then completely ignore the cultural context yourself. No one discipline will solve the enigmas of the ancient world on its own, and experts in any one discipline who ignore the testimony of those in other relevant fields will not help to move our collective understanding forward.
As for my previous closing remarks, our senses of humour are clearly somewhat different, but I hope that will not affect our ability to focus on the issues at hand. I am in no great hurry with any of this - all any of us can do is to try to improve on the collective understanding for our successors to pick up on. And I am at a loss to understand quite where you get the idea that I am not confident in my current conclusions, at least as far as your power plant theory is concerned. Now if you asked me about exactly what kind of rituals the AE's were conducting in their pyramids and temples, what psychoactive substances they were using in their initiations, and whether it is possible for us to recreate this experience and understanding with a western 21st century mindset, then I would be much less sure but far more interested...
PS Please rest assured that I am not averse to having a beer and chilling out - in fact I do it quite regularly ;-)
22 Oct 2000
Email response from Chris Dunn to IL
Engineering principles that are presented within a cultural context should be sound and technically correct. Until they are, the entire culture responsible for applying these engineering principles is open to question. The cultural context you speak of falls woefully short of being technically correct in explaining the pyramids and other artifacts in Egypt. Does this not give the engineering context precedence?
[I think Chris and I have now presented our views as best we can without much convergence. He clearly does not want to comment on the religious, esoteric and ritual aspects of Egyptian culture, as displayed in their architecture and texts, that I described in my last email. Consequently this debate is more or less concluded at least for the present... IL]