Was the Great Pyramid a Tomb? — Probably Not

Image by Cesar Salazar from Pixabay

On June 9th I’ll be giving a talk in Leeds (England) entitled Time for a New Paradigm — the Reunification of Science and Religion. (I’ll be publishing it on Medium nearer the time.) One of my central themes, quoting Robert Cox, will be that “the ancients were much more intelligent than we have supposed them to be. In particular… many ancient cultures once shared a genuine spiritual science…which in certain ways rivals and even surpasses the most advanced physical theories of today”¹.

If that is true, despite what many modern scientists may claim, and despite their attempts to dismiss ancient peoples and their thinking as primitive and mythological, it’s possible that modern science is only just beginning to catch up with the wisdom of the Ancients.

One obvious example of this advanced science is the Great Pyramid of Giza. Many Egyptologists, along with numerous TV documentaries, claim that this was built on the instructions of Pharaoh Khufu (also known as Cheops) to serve as his tomb around 2,500 B.C.E. This dating is the subject of some debate and controversy, some researchers arguing that it was built earlier. I don’t intend to enter that debate here, since I have nothing to add which could advance the argument any further. Obviously, if it were built earlier, it would not have been the project of Khufu, but someone else. Again, there is much debate on that topic, and on how it was built, which I also won’t add to here.

What is possible, however, since the Great Pyramid is still with us, is to examine it as it is, and draw our own conclusions. One person who did just that was Peter Tompkins. His book Secrets of the Great Pyramid² was first published in 1971. That was some time ago now and, since many younger people may be unaware of that research, I thought it would be a good idea to post a brief article now to outline the main points.

Here are a few quotes from the introduction:

  • Does the Great Pyramid of Cheops enshrine a lost science? Was (it)… designed by mysterious architects who had a deeper knowledge of the secrets of this universe than those who followed them?”
  • The foundations were almost perfectly oriented to true north, its structure incorporated a value for π accurate to several decimals and in several distinct and unmistakable ways, and its main chamber incorporated the ‘sacred’ 3–4–5 and 2-√5–3 triangles (a² + b² = c²) which were to make Pythagoras famous, and which Plato in his Timaeus claimed as the building blocks of the cosmos”.
  • The Pyramid’s angles and slopes display an advanced understanding of trigonometric values, (and) its shape quite precisely incorporates the fundamental proportions of the ‘Golden Section’, known today by the Greek letter φ (pronounced phi)”.
  • Recent studies of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and the cuneiform mathematical tablets of the Babylonians and Sumerians have established that an advanced science did flourish in the Middle East at least three thousand years before Christ, and that Pythagoras, Eratosthenes, Hipparchus and other Greeks reputed to have originated mathematics on this planet merely picked up fragments of an ancient science evolved by remote and unknown predecessors”.
  • The Great Pyramid, like most of the great temples of antiquity, was designed on the basis of a hermetic geometry known only to a restricted group of initiates, mere traces of which percolated to the Classical and Alexandrian Greeks”.
  • The Pyramid has been shown to be an almanac by means of which the length of the year including its awkward .2422 fraction of a day could be measured as accurately as with a modern telescope. It has been shown to be a theodolite, or instrument for the surveyor, of great precision and simplicity, virtually indestructible. It is still a compass so finely oriented that modern compasses are adjusted to it, not vice versa”.
  • The Great Pyramid is a carefully located geodetic marker, or fixed landmark, on which the geography of the ancient world was brilliantly constructed, that it served as a celestial observatory from which maps and tables of the stellar hemisphere could be accurately drawn; and that it incorporates in its sides and angles the means for creating a highly sophisticated map projection of the northern hemisphere. It is, in fact, a scale model of the hemisphere, correctly incorporating the geographical degrees of latitude and longitude”.
  • (The builder of the Great Pyramid) knew the precise circumference of the planet, and the length of the year to several decimals — data which were not rediscovered till the seventeenth century. Its architects may well have known the mean length of the earth’s orbit round the sun, the specific density of the planet, the 26,000-year cycle of the equinoxes, the acceleration of gravity and the speed of light”.

Some of the above is not disputed by advocates of the orthodox viewpoint, but is “attributed to chance”. I leave it to the reader to judge whether all the above, if it is indeed true, could be attributed merely to chance. Let’s suppose that it is indeed true — Tompkins has done a detailed analysis and believes that it is. The most obvious question would therefore be, if the Great Pyramid was built as a tomb, why was all the above deemed necessary? Is it not much more likely, in the light of all the above, that the pyramid was not built as a tomb? As Tompkins says: “These and other recent discoveries have made it possible to reanalyze the entire history of the Great Pyramid with a whole new set of references: the results are explosive. The common — and indeed authoritative — assumption that the Pyramid was just another tomb built to memorialize some vainglorious Pharoah is proved to be false”.

The next questions are therefore:

  • How was all this precise information incorporated, given the way orthodox thinkers believe it was built, with the technology available at the time? Who was responsible for ensuring this precision?
  • Why was all this information incorporated into the Pyramid, suggesting that it was built for a completely different purpose, now unknown to us?

Or were some ancient geniuses merely showing off? In either case, as Cox said above, the Pyramid is clear evidence that the ancients had access to advanced scientific knowledge and technology, and were therefore much more intelligent than we have supposed them to be. Perhaps modern science has much to learn from them.


I hope you have enjoyed this article. I have written in the past about other topics, including spirituality, metaphysics, psychology, science, Christianity, politics, and astrology. All these articles are on Medium, but the simplest way to see a guide to them is to visit my website (click here and here).



1. Creating the Soul Body, Inner Traditions, 2008, Pix

2. Harper & Row. I am quoting the Harper Colophon edition, 1978

I am a singer/songwriter interested in spirituality, politics, psychology, science, and their interrelationships. grahampemberton.com spiritualityinpolitics.com